I need a Google Talk client for my Ubuntu. Nothing fancy, I just don't want to keep my browser open all the time. I was using Pidgin, but about two weeks ago it became extremely slow and unresponsive. I have brand new AMD APU, a lot of memory and SSD HDD on SATA III, so I don't think any hardware upgrade will be able to help. I clearly need a new client.

I was perfectly happy with Pidgin, so my question is: What software for Ubuntu is just like it, but made by different team (and thus unaffected by bug that hit me)?

Features I liked in Pidgin was:

  • Contact list automatically synchronized with Google
  • Auto-login
  • Google-compatible status display
  • Small, simple interface
  • Hidden in an icon next to the clock (in KDE) most of the time
  • Didn't require me to know XMPP parameters of Google server, I was able to just select Google and have it working, with no thinking on my part needed. Just user and password.
  • 1
    Does the client have to support voice as well, or just chat? In that case Mozilla Thunderbird would work fine
    – Tymric
    Sep 3, 2014 at 18:47
  • @Timmy Never used voice, to be honest. I don't know if pidgin supports it well, and I will not cry for it :)
    – Mołot
    Sep 3, 2014 at 18:49
  • 1
    Could you list what you mean with "just like it"? Currently, almost any XMPP client seems to be a possible solution (if they did not cancel their XMPP support completely) which is probably too broad.
    – unor
    Sep 3, 2014 at 21:03
  • @unor Done. If it's still too broad, so be it - I don't know how to make it any better, if it needs to be closed, it will. If there is anything more to add, I'll try if asked to.
    – Mołot
    Sep 3, 2014 at 21:15

4 Answers 4


The email client Mozilla Thunderbird also has a chat service which supports Google Talk accounts. It works on Ubuntu, and it is updated frequently. So you can assume that all bugs would be addressed quickly.

enter image description here


If you use Google Chrome, you can install Hangouts from Chrome Web Store.

Hangouts opens in a separate window and will continue to run even after you exit Chrome.

Screenshot of Hangouts showing it running in separate windows


If you use KDE, you will find Telepathy is a great ready-installed choice.

The Quick Chat widgets even show the avatar of the person in chat with me (I use for Facebook, but I think it also works for Google Talk). When your conversation is closed, the icon will disappears.

enter image description here


If you like KDE, you can use Kopete is an excellent alternative.

Personally I advise you to use Empathy

It is an instant messaging program supporting text, voice, video, file transfers and inter-application communication over many different protocols, including: AIM, MSN, Google Talk (Jabber/XMPP), Facebook, Yahoo!, Salut, Gadu-Gadu, Groupwise, ICQ and QQ.

Install in Ubuntu:

 sudo apt-get install empathy

enter image description here

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